OK for kids 9+
Predictable family comedy isn't deserving of its stars.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Parental Guidance is a mostly kid-friendly family comedy about the tension between grandparents' old-style parenting and their daughter and son-in-law's Type-A helicopter parenting. There's some rude and scatological humor -- e.g. "poopy head," "fartie Artie," a grandfather being hit in the testicles with a baseball bat, and a man vomiting on a child. A grandfather's suggestion to stick up for yourself leads to his grandson punching his bully and then getting hit in the eye in response. Several brands are mentioned, particularly ESPN, but the product placements aren't generally overwhelming. There's a little drinking by adults, some mild suggestiveness (including references to a couple's romantic role playing), and some kissing.
- Families can talk about how the movie portrays different parenting styles. Is it funny to see how the two generations differ? Is it just a generational "thing"? If not, what accounts for the differences? Is one style "right" and the other "wrong"?
- Can you think of other movies that feature comical relationships between grandparents, adult children, and kids? How does this one compare to those?
- Who do you think the movie is intended to appeal to most? Why? Does it succeed?
The good stuff
Messages: The movie's main message is the importance of staying close to your parents, especially when you're an adult with children of your own. The importance and benefits of inter-generational families are stressed.
Role models: Diane is trying to be a more attentive mother and grandmother, and she does her best to reconcile with her estranged adult child and get to know her grandkids.
What to watch for
Violence: A grandfather is struck in the testicles with a baseball bat and then vomits on a kid. A boy hits his bully in the eye and is then struck in response. A famous skateboarder falls on the halfpipe after a boy pees on it.
Sex: Mild suggestiveness and a couple of slow dances and kisses between Alice and Phil. There's a running joke that a married couple occasionally role plays being an English punk lover and his girlfriend. Artie and Diane hug.
Language: Insults like "stupid," "poopyhead," "fartie," and other silly names. A fair bit of scatological humor, such as a boy peeing on a halfpipe and an adult getting hit in the testicles and then vomiting on a boy.
Consumerism: ESPN, the X Games, Tony Hawk, Apple products (including MacBooks and iPods), and the San Francisco Giants are all featured in the movie.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink on vacation.
Fan Reviews provided by
Good Family Movie by GilbertNSummer
My husband took our family to see this movie on Christmas Day. Originally we decided to go and see this movie for some laughs and were not really counting on it to be much more than that. We were happily surprised that this movie had a very good story line and had strong family values hidden in the movie. Good to see how much Grandparents love their Grandkids....I would watch this again, no violence, no sex scenes, appropriate for all ages.
One of Crystal's best! by jrobins
This is a must see for the whole family and best of all it can be seen by the whole family. Something that doesn't happen that often anymore. If you ever had children or grandchildren or plan to, this movie is for you. Even if you have no children, you will enjoy this movie.
Crystal and Midler have great chemistry as does the rest of the cast. The kids were too cute for words and the audience actually applauded when the movie was over (and not because it was over!)
Finally a good movie that you can take your kids to and have a good time laughing. And best of all, no one gets killed, wounded or has sex for 2 whole hours. And yet everyone still managed to enjoy it.
PARENTAL GUIDANCE by bargie
THE THEATER WAS PACKED TO THE RAFTERS. IT WAS A DELIGHT TO WATCH AFTER BEING SUBJECTED TO WHAT SEEMED LIKE HOURS OF SI-FI PREVIEWS ROARING AND GROWLING AWAY.
THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT GENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS, AND THE HOUSE WAS FILLED WITH LAUGHTER AND THE NODDING OF HEADS AS WE ALL ENJOYED SEEING BITS OF OUR OWN LIVES WHIP ACROSS THE SCREEN.
THE SCRIPT, THE ACTORS AND TREATMENT ALL AER EXPERT AND THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE.
Parental guidance by amsacb
Good family humor. Great chemistry between Bette Midler and Billy Crystal. The kids in the movie were great. it was nice clean humor and worth seeing.
Very good movie! by traciannelise
I took my 10 year old daughter to see this and we both enjoyed this movie very much! It made us laugh and cry and was a very good family movie! Would recommend very highly!
Very Funny! by nboggess01
I was worried that the only funny parts in this movie were going to be the ones they show in the previews, but those were just the beginning! The entire movie was hysterical! A couple of times my eyes were tearing up because I was laughing so hard! My 8 and 11 year olds were both laughing through the whole movie, too, which says a lot because they have very different tastes in movies. I highly recommended this movie to my parents and in laws (who are always making fun of "new school" parenting) and I am highly recommending it here, too!
Great family flick! by aboothe22
We took our 4 children to see this film on Christmas day. It was a hit with all (14, 12, 10, and 4). The four year old might have gotten a little squirmy, but that's just him and doesn't reflect on the movie at all. Good story line, and very family-friendly (ie the lack of inappropriate language and sex). My 12 year old told me we need to buy it when it comes out on DVD, so I'd say it was a hit and also just maybe the start of a Christmas tradition of going to the movies.
Parental Guidance by maxine229
Thoroughly enjoyed this movie. As with many movies it has a fairly predictable ending but the laughs along the way are wonderful. Bette Midler and Billy Crystal are wonderful together. Actually, the whole cast is just great.
What's even better - it's a whole family kind of movie!
Classic Billy Crystal by clay_johnny
Billy Crystal and cast are fantastic in this movie. Its nice to be able to take my 13 y.o and my 20 y.o to a movie that we both can laugh at, and I didn't have to worry about the language. Get a clue movie makers, you don't have to drop F bombs, S bombs, and A bombs to make a good movie.